What is Enterprise Content Management?

Enterprise content management

Enterprise Content Management Explained

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is a form of content management that is used to organize and store an organization’s documents. ECM manages an organization’s information from its creation, to publication, to archival, and, eventually, disposal. Web-based cloud content management combines ECM with social business software. Organizations approaching information management from an enterprise perspective are also exploring enterprise information management (EIM) to combine ECM and business insight.

Enterprise Content Management manages a company’s internal information. Some ECM solutions focus on Business-to-Employee (B2E) systems. ECM covers document management, web content management, records management, digital asset management (DAM), and work-flow management. It enhances teamwork and collaboration.

Components of an EMS

Capture information:

  • recognition technologies to extract information from scanned documents and digital faxes
  • image cleanup
  • forms processing.
  • COLD, Computer Output to Laser Disc (COLD) records reports and other documents on optical disks, or any form of digital storage
  • aggregation for documents from different applications
  • indexing

Management of information:

  • document management (DM)
  • collaboration
  • web content management
  • records management
  • workflow and business process management (BPM)


  • information in file systems, content management systems, databases, and data warehouses is stored in repositories
  • library services handle access to information
  • magnetic online media to cloud computing is used to store information


  • long term storage and long term preservation


  • methods
  • transformation technologies
  • security technologies such as electronic signatures
  • distribution

ECM applications are delivered to an organization in one of three ways; through software installed on an organization’s network, through a Software as a Service (SaaS) company offering web access to information stored on their system, or a hybrid with both on-site and SaaS components.

Planning and management support are keys to a successful program to implement an ECM system. Issues encountered typically occur when an organization has not had policies, processes, and procedures in place to convert their current system to an ECM. An organization needs to determine how their current information is generated, used, and stored. It needs to be realistic about the time to implement an ECM. It needs to educate the stakeholders on the importance and the benefits of the new system. An improved flow of information gives staff an increased ability to answer questions and complete tasks. Successfully implemented EMS systems reduce the time to complete processes and improve an organization’s daily operations.

EMS allows companies to integrate all of their confidential data into a reliable, centralized retrieval system. Regardless of an information’s complexity or data source location, one query can allow staff members to search centralized and distributed structured and unstructured data sources. An organization can store, retrieve, and track millions of important documents regardless of their format or location within the organizational system while improving short-term profit, increasing productivity and allowing the organization to find what they are looking for. ECM makes an organization’s information easy to manage, controlling access to vital documents, allowing for easy retrieval, creating standardization for an organization’s information, and offers records and retention management to improve efficiency and control costs.

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